Fisher will be evaluating applicants for program fit and overall communication skills while improving their applicants’ online admissions experience.
Fisher College of Business
1,036 graduate students
35 countries represented across graduate programs
76,772 living alumni
Fisher College has been an innovator in the admissions space for some time, continuing to trial new and interactive elements in their application process. In the past, they have included either a ‘video essay’ that required applicants to create and upload their own video file, or an alternative asynchronous, timed system.
While the team loved the opportunity to meet their applicants asynchronously and remotely, their past systems presented technical challenges that could reflect negatively on applicants unintentionally.
Not only did some applicants have privacy concerns with uploading a personal video to networks like YouTube or Vimeo, but the admissions team was also finding it difficult to standardize the assessment of the videos side-by-side. Some applicants would shoot and edit extensive video footage showcasing their hobbies, whereas others would record a more traditional video essay with their webcam at home. For applicants using Fisher College’s past timed video service, the lack of integration, poor user experience, and low video quality, created headaches for the review team.
Improving the applicant experience and ensuring each applicant has an opportunity to be successful became a critical reason to explore other options.
“We’re really excited about looking beyond the open-ended questions and that we can be more objective as far as the competencies and be evaluating the real skills to be a good fit for the program,” said Alison Merzel, Sr. Director, Graduate Student Recruitment.
“I think it’s easy to be biased when looking at the past video essay. You can say, ‘Oh, they put a lot of time into this!’, but does that show they have the competencies to be successful in our program? Using Kira will help standardize the assessment and make it a lot more objective to evaluate candidate fit,” said Merzel.
Furthermore, Merzel noted that some students were intimidated by the open-ended and ‘do-it-yourself’ nature of the video essay. Between the ‘openness’ of the ask, and the technical challenges of recording and uploading the video footage, the school saw some applicants dropping off or missing the deadline at the video requirement stage. Now, their questions will be more targeted to evaluate the specific competencies the school has identified, and they have also dropped one essay question in exchange for the Kira component.
“We’re hoping that making it easier to complete the application process will help improve the number of completed applications,” she said.
For smaller programs like the MBA for Working Professionals, which previously had no interview component, using Kira presents an exciting new opportunity for the admissions team to get to know its applicants. In the full-time MBA admissions process, the school will continue to invite their top candidates for in-person interviews, reviewing applicants through Kira to help decide which applicants to bring to campus.